There has been a lot of talk about an independent Yorkshire recently, but which town should be the capital? As proud residents of LS29, there really is only one answer. Come the Yorkshire devolution revolution, Ilkley needs to stake its claim as the administrative centre. Forget Leeds, Sheffield and York, Ilkley should be the face of post-Yexit Britain.
But first things first, here’s a bit of background.
Will There Be an Independent Yorkshire?
Since the government promised the Scottish increased power over their own affairs in an attempt to stop them leaving the UK, a number of regions across the country have campaigned for similar. However, the best way forward for Yorkshire is a matter of debate.
The government isn’t happy with the idea of One Yorkshire, bringing North, South, East and West Yorkshire together. The Conservatives also dismissed a deal for an independent Leeds City Region, whilst Labour isn’t keen on the Greater Yorkshire option, including everywhere but South Yorkshire. A large proportion of South Yorkshire is set to break away next year as the Sheffield City Region, although half of the participating authorities are looking to pull out.
MPs met this week to discuss the issues in a less-than packed House of Commons:
— James Mitchinson (@JayMitchinson) 13 October 2017
Whilst the politicians drag their heels, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Carolyn Fairbairn, is fully behind Yorkshire independence. This means we need to start planning for the future, and the campaign to crown Ilkley as the capital of an independent Yorkshire begins here.
Five Reasons Ilkley Should Become the Capital of Yorkshire
1) We Provide Yorkshire’s Anthem
Every country needs a national anthem, and the same goes for devolved regions. The best bit is that Yorkshire has an anthem already, and it comes from Ilkley. Which proud Yorkshire man or woman doesn’t become moist-eyed when they belt out On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at? That’s exactly what you want from an anthem.
Okay, most national anthems extol the virtues of figureheads or praise the nation’s plush countryside, but we like to do things differently round here. There’s a gap in the market for a rousing anthem on the world stage about dying from exposure and being eaten by worms.
Here’s Welcome to Yorkshire’s cracking version of On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at from a couple of years ago, featuring Brian Blessed’s, um, unique rap:
2) Ilkley’s MP is Bookies’ Favourite to Become Yorkshire Mayor
John Grogan, MP for Keighley (including Ilkley), is 4/1 with Paddy Power to be Yorkshire’s first mayor. If we provide the mayor, surely we have first dibs on being the centre of Tyke power. That makes sense, right?
Grogan comes in ahead of Yorkshire Party leader Stewart Arnold (6/1), Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis (10/1), athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill (33/1) and bread baron Jonathan Warburton (50/1). No-nonsense football boss Neil Warnock is an 80/1 shot, but seeing as he deals mainly in crisis management nowadays, it might not send out quite the right message.
3) We Have Our Own Landmark
London has Big Ben, Paris boasts about the Eiffel Tower and Rome showcases the Coliseum. Every capital needs a centrepiece and we already provide one of Yorkshire’s most iconic sights – the Cow and Calf. When film makers or photographers want an icon to represent Yorkshire, they head up onto the moor and snap away at the rocks. And for good reason:
Find out everything you need to know about the Cow and Calf, including its origin story and how it can magically shift location, at the dedicated post.
4) We Have Our Own Postal Expert
After Yorkshire devolution, we will control a lot more of the services on which we rely. One of those could be the postal service, and LS29 has the best person for the job of organising mail deliveries. John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat, lives in Ilkley and could bring his expertise to the table.
Anyone with small children who enjoy the current series on CBeebies (Pat has a child, which is weird) may be sceptical. They’ll tell you that, to all intents and purposes, Pat is truly incompetent. They do have a point, but the counter argument is that he always gets the delivery there on time, and the residents of Greendale seem delighted with his work. It doesn’t matter that he succeeds more through luck than judgement; he (literally) delivers. The Royal Mail would kill for his kind of approval rating.
5) This Bus
Want to persuade people you need to go out on your own? Stick a message on a bus. This Ilkley-themed slogan promoting an independent Yorkshire should persuade the public and then they’d have to let us become the capital. Perfect.
Sit back, relax and wait for Yexit to happen.
What are your thoughts on Yorkshire independence? Could we head out alone? Let me know in the comments.